Vantange Homes 13DEC16
Gold Season Membership

13-Apr-2019

Falcons’ Junior Soars for the Stars

Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was just 13 years old when he pulled on his first Sunshine Coast Falcons’ jersey.

The Gympie junior was selected in the Sunshine Coast Falcons ‘Gold’ (North) team to compete in the Central Division Junior Carnival, and that wasn’t his last selection.  

He continued through the Falcons junior pathways earning selection in both the u14 and u18 Mal Meninga Cup sides.

The talented second-rower’s representative honours did not stop at the Falcons, earning selection to represent Queensland in 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, & 2018.

The latter was a big year for Tino, who at just 18 years of age was also selected in the u20s origin team, as well as the Junior Kangaroos side.  

After playing junior rugby league on the Sunshine Coast, Storm talent scout Dane Campbell noticed the then 16-year-old in the Cyril Connell Cup competition, where he was playing for Central Crows at the time.

“He had a good physical presence and when the game was on the line he was the one who wanted the ball, which is always a good trait for young players to have.”

“I then saw him a week later… where he was playing against players up to two years older than he was and he showed again that he had a touch of class about him.”

Although contracted to the Brisbane Broncos at the time, Tino remained on Dane’s radar.

“We continued to watch from afar for about 18 months, as he had a contract in place and we respected that.”

“When he was off contract… we offered him the chance to join the Storm initially through our U20s system before moving to Melbourne fulltime at the end of 2017.”

In 2017, after completing year 12, Tino left the Sunshine Coast and made his way down to Melbourne to begin training with the NRL powerhouse, leaving his family and girlfriend Jordan Ngarimu behind.

However Jordan believes it was the best decision Tino could have made,

“Signing with the Storm has been Tino’s biggest opportunity career wise, he’s been at his peak with the team.”

Late last year, Jordan made the move to Melbourne to join the rising star,

“Being able to see what he goes through and the sacrifices he’s made, make it all worth it. The club is super supportive and family orientated which has been great for us since the arrival of our newborn.”

On the 23rd of March 2019, Tino and Jordan welcomed their first little bundle of joy into the world – baby girl Alina Rose Fa’asuamaleaui.

Jordan says Tino is relishing fatherhood,

“He hates changing the stinky nappies, but all other things he loves. He’s always up with me every hour of the night doing what he can to help out even though he’s exhausted and has to train early the next morning.”

The early morning training sessions are paying dividends for the 197cm, 107kg 19-year-old who was an outstanding performer in the Intrust Super Cup in 2018.

Tino started the season with the Vantage Homes Falcons, before dropping back to the Storm U20 Thunderbolts, before returning to the Intrust Super Cup with East Tigers.

“(I) wasn’t playing my best football when I first came to QCup (Intrust Super Cup) for the Falcons, so I had to drop back to 20s... Then East offered me an opportunity to get more minutes and show what I could do.”

Fortunately the teenage prodigy has been re-assigned to the Falcons for the 2019 season, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for our home-grown hero.

The Vantage Homes Falcons will take on Tino’s former team, the East Tigers, tomorrow afternoon at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Both teams are currently undefeated six rounds into the season, and sit on equal for-and-against points (+80). This is one win and 20 differential points ahead of their nearest rival.

Kick-off is at 12:40pm and will be played as a curtain raiser to the Round Five NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and New Zealand Warriors.